Photos by Arnie Goodman
Ana Popovic brought her high heels and towering musical talent to the Highline Ballroom for an evening of blues, jazz and funk.
Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Popovic started playing guitar at age 15, influenced by her dad’s collection of blues and soul records. Since then she has shared the stage with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King and Taj Mahal, and has been nominated for four Blues Music Awards.
Popovic brought along drummer Stephane Avellaneda, with her since 2009, and teamed with two local musicians, keyboardist Adam Huja and bassist Lavondo Thomas, who fit in perfectly and brought a sense of continuity to the music.
The group played six songs from the new triple album, Trilogy, including “She Was a Doorman,” “Love You Tonight,” “New Coat of Paint,” Waiting on You,” “Woman to Love” and “Long Road Down.” The 23-song album spans blues, jazz and funk tunes, and includes guest appearances from Joe Bonamassa, Robert Randolph, Bernard Purdie and many others. The album highlights Popovic’s agile shredding and soulful voice.
The group also played “Navajo Moon” from the Comfort to the Soul album. Popovic, the only female guitarist on the recent Experience Hendrix tour, showed respect for the greats who came before her and played “Can’t You See” by Hendrix. The set ended with a trilogy of “Hold On,” “Going Down,” and “Crosstown,” bringing an end to an exciting evening of music, but not the star’s progress: Popovic’s singing and guitar playing continue to evolve, making her one of the top blues performers of the day.